Texas

Texas
12:08 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Judge Overturns Ruling Reeling In Texas' Red Snapper Season

Texas' attorney general applauds a decision that overturned a proposed shortening of the state’s red snapper fishing season.
flickr.com/myfwcmedia

A federal district judge has overturned a federal emergency rule that would shorten the red snapper fishing season to as few as 12 days in Texas – down from a projected 22 days.

Environment Texas Director Luke Metzger says that he is disappointed in the ruling. The federal decision that would have shortened the season was put in place to stop the overfishing of red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Texas
11:30 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Roadcheck Program Looks to Get Unsafe Rigs Off the Road

Over the next three days more than 10,000 DPS troopers will ramp up their inspections of commercial vehicles like trucks and buses.
flickr.com/kasiaflickr

The Texas Department of Public Safety is part of a nationwide commercial vehicle inspection program going on this week.

The overall Roadcheck initiative will have specially trained troopers and investigators inspecting commercial vehicles for serious equipment violations involving brakes, tires, lights and drivers that aren’t in compliance with state and federal requirements.

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Texas
10:57 am
Tue June 4, 2013

TCEQ Needs More Time to Examine LCRA Water Plan

The LCRA is operating under emergency drought relief. Under those orders, most downstream rice farmers did not receive Highland Lakes water for their crops in 2012 or 2013.
Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is taking more time to review the Lower Colorado River Authority’s water management plan. The additional evaluation could take about a year.

The water management plan directs how the LCRA uses lakes Travis and Buchanan to meet the needs of water users. The state wants to meet with stakeholders and collect more data before approving the new plan.

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Fort Hood Shootings
11:38 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Accused Fort Hood Shooter Will Represent Himself

Major Nidal Hasan is accused of killing 13 people and wounded dozens in a shooting at Fort Hood in November 2009.
courtesy Bell County Sheriff's Department

The Army psychiatrist charged with killing 13 people at Fort Hood in 2009 will be allowed to represent himself at his trial.

The judge in the case, Col. Tara Osborn, ruled today that Major Nidal Hasan is both mentally and physically capable of acting in his own defense. His military lawyers will stay on the case, but will only act if Hasan asks for their help.

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Texas
5:20 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Firefighters Killed In Houston Motel Blaze

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 5:53 pm

Four firefighters have been killed battling a five-alarm fire at a Houston motel. At least five others have been injured.

The Houston mayor's office confirmed the dead and injured after firefighters responded to the massive blaze at the Southwest Inn shortly after noon. The fire reportedly began at a restaurant and then "flames spread to the motel and were shooting from the roof before firefighters extinguished the blaze," The Associated Press reports.

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Texas
6:54 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Former Round Rock Man Sentenced For Plotting To Kill Saudi Ambassador

A 2001 photo shows Manssor Arbab Arbabsiar in a mug shot. Arbabsiar has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for plotting to kill Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the U.S.
Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 12:58 pm

Manssor Arbabsiar, a naturalized U.S. citizen who has lived in Texas for three decades, has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for conspiring to kill Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States.

Last October, Arbabsiar pleaded guilty to plotting to kill the ambassador. He also admitted to working with Iranian military officials on the plan.

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2013 Legislative Session
9:01 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Redistricting: Battle Over Fair Maps at the Capitol, and in Court

Laura Rice, KUT News

The story as it aired on KUT 90.5 FM.

The Texas Senate is holding a public hearing this morning on redistricting.

It’s a chance for people to tell lawmakers what they think about district maps drawn for state House, Senate and Congressional elections.

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Texas
4:32 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Foster Care Bills Signed Into Law

The bills aim to allow some kids to refuse certain medications and give advocates more access to needed information.
Lizzie Chen, KUT News

Foster care children 16 and older could refuse psychotropic medication under a bill signed into law today by Gov. Rick Perry that more closely monitors the administration of those drugs to foster kids.

Another measure signed into law today will give court-appointed special advocates of foster kids online access to their case information.

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Texas
4:25 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Hasan May Be OK'd to Represent Himself

Nidal Hasan is trying to represent himself in his shooting trial.
courtesy Bell County Sheriff's Department

The man accused in the Fort Hood shooting wants to represent himself in his upcoming murder trial and the judge wants to be sure he’s able.

At today’s pretrial hearing, the judge ruled that Maj. Nidal Hasan is mentally competent to represent himself, but he wants to hear from a doctor that Hasan is physically able.

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Texas
5:15 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Texas Child Welfare Agency Struggling to Keep Caseworkers

A report from the state auditor found that caseworkers in Child Protective Services were underpaid compared to their counterparts in Oklahoma, Louisiana, New Mexico and Arkansas.
KUT News

The state’s child welfare agency is suffering from high employee turnover among caseworkers and is having trouble replacing them.

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Texas
3:27 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

U.S. Supreme Court Expands Post-Conviction Appeals

In a 5 to 4 vote, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a case that will allow those convicted of crimes to appeal on the basis of inadequate defense
flickr.com/fisherfotos

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a case that could help people already convicted of crimes appeal their convictions in federal court.

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Texas
9:00 am
Tue May 28, 2013

19th Century Windmill Company Seeks 21st Century Customers

The San Angelo company still builds windmills from a 1933 design.
Mark Dewey

Windmill farms that generate electric power are now a familiar site across west Texas. But before the giant turbines took over, their little cousins ruled the plains. Small windmills pumped water to settlers, pioneers, and ranchers in the Lone Star state. The biggest windmill company, Aermotor, started in Chicago in the 1800s, and now pumps out windmills from its San Angelo headquarters and factory.

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Texas
7:05 am
Tue May 28, 2013

From Texas To Great Lakes, Severe Weather Due Again

Tuesday's weather is expected to be bad from Texas up into the nation's midsection and across to the Great Lakes.
National Weather Service

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 10:07 am

The warnings aren't as ominous as they were eight days ago in the hours leading up to the tornado that devastated Moore, Okla., but the National Weather Service is predicting "another round of severe weather for the Central United States on Tuesday."

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2013 Legislative Session
4:27 pm
Mon May 27, 2013

Legislature Debates Drones, Guns and Money as Special Session Looms

Lawmakers are gearing up for a likely special session, but that hasn’t stopped them from trying to squeeze as many bills as they can out of the regular session.

But as the Sine Die bell nearly tolls, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has gone as far to personally ask the state’s highest executive for a special session.

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Texas
3:17 pm
Mon May 27, 2013

Sergeant Major of the Army Comes to Texas for Memorial Day

Sergeant Major of the Army Ramond F. Chandler III at the Memorial Day ceremony in Georgetown, Tex. Monday morning.
Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

Over a thousand Central Texans gathered on Monday to honor local men and women who lost their lives in service to the U.S. at the Georgetown-Williamson County Veterans Memorial in the Sun City Community Center.

At the memorial, the Texas Army National Guard’s 36th Infantry Division Band played for residents and veterans, with Sergeant Major of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III attending the ceremony as a special guest.

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Texas
10:01 am
Mon May 27, 2013

For One Austin Man, Every Day Is Worth a Memorial

Rick Smith began his Memorial Day morning just like he does every day – by ceremoniously raising the U.S. flag.
Joy Diaz for KUT News

The story as it aired on KUT News 90.5 FM.

Every Memorial Day we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of duty.

But Rick Smith doesn’t wait on any specific day of the year. He has made it his mission in life to honor the U.S. flag every morning and night – and plans on doing so for the rest of his life.

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Texas
5:32 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Motorbike Passenger Law Poised to Pass

The new law would require motorcycles designed to carry two people have passenger handlebars and footrests.
KUT News

Ramping up motorcycle safety is the goal of a measure that is heading for final passage in the Legislature.

Motorcycles designed to carry more than one person would be required to have foot pegs and handlebars for the passenger under Malorie’s Law, which is named after a 19-year-old woman from Sherman who died in a motorcycle crash in 2010.

Texas is one of only three states that does not require footrests for passengers on motorcycles, according to the American Motorcyclist Association. The other states are Mississippi and Missouri.

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Texas
5:00 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Listen: Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison on Trailblazing Texas Women

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison encourages women interested in purusing a career in politics or public service to get some expererience outside of the industry before diving in. She is the author of a new book on the role of women in shaping Texas.
Gittings Photography

You think moving a piano is a pain now: Try doing it over rough terrain ... with no moving van.

Some of the women who came with their families to Texas in the early days of the 1800's insisted on bringing their pianos with them. While many of these women came from more genteel Southern backgrounds, the rough and rugged environment in Texas did nothing to dampen their spirits or enthusiasm.

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Texas
3:59 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Texas Settles E-book Suit vs. Penguin Group

Penguin Group will pay $75 million to e-book buyers if the settlement is approved.
courtesy flickr.com/alienratt

The Texas attorney general’s office has settled a lawsuit against Penguin Group, accusing the country's largest book publisher of colluding with Apple to raise the prices of electronic books.

Texas sued along with 32 other states and territories.

If the agreement is approved by a federal judge, $75 million will go to people who bought e-books.

Texas had already settled with four other publishers. The claims against Apple are scheduled for trial next month.

Texas
8:00 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Federal Agency Claims It Was Shut Out of West Investigation

Investigators in front of an apartment complex near the West Fertilizer Plant.
http://facebook.com/pages/Texas-State-Fire-Marshal

The head of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) says other government agencies are getting in the way of its investigation into the fertilizer plant explosion in West.

In a letter to U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, CSB chairman Rafael Moure-Eraso says the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives blocked CSB investigators from accessing the site for a month, and "altered or removed almost all relevant physical evidence from the site."

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